The Art-Deco Movement – Sleek but Hand-Crafted Form

The term “Art-Deco” really came into wide use in the middle part of the 20th century, years after the popular decorative style was already in vogue, says Helaine Fendelman, fine art and antique appraiser. You may be thinking about Chrysler Building in New York City or the colorful facades on Miami’s Ocean Drive when you hear about the term art deco.

The term was used for the first time in 1952 at the Parisian Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Let’s take a deep dive into the origins of Art Deco, the ways in which it lives on today, and how you can make the look work in your home.

Sleek But Hand-Crafted Forms

Art Deco’s unique style was a bit of a contradiction at times in contrast to purism—sleek but often hand-crafted forms, rich but not ornate finishes, showy but not overly ornamental shapes. There were used new materials such as chrome and plate glass, but also luxurious finishes like exotic woods, lacquered surfaces, and shagreen. Alessandra Wood, a trend expert at Modsy affirms: “Furniture and decor started becoming sculptural, mimicking the period’s architectural and interior mainstays of smooth and streamlined surfaces and vertical lines,” “Many new geometric motifs and patterns also became more common, including zigzags, chevrons, starbursts, fans, and circular designs.”

Art-Deco trends for buildings and interiors

Buildings, interiors, and even products designed in the Art Deco style had a particular exuberance and energy. The look became associated with technology, optimism, and prosperity as the style gained popularity, says Wood.  There was a period of wealth in the entire world. “Both the United States and Europe had healthy economies, which is reflected in the style.” You’d see a lot of metallic materials and busy patterns if you were to look at an Art Deco home or bank lobby. “It’s all about excess,” says Linden. Art Deco style is often associated with the Great Gatsby.

Art-Deco and its global influence

Many of the movement’s leading designers and architects had traveled to Japan and elsewhere while serving in World War I, despite its European origins and presence in American cities, Art Deco still reflected a global influence. The designers and architects brought their inspiration back with them and incorporated elements of those cultures into their work.

World War II marked the end of this deco movement, but as it happens in fashion and design, the style did come back around the 20th century. Wood affirms: “We’ve seen Art Deco revivals in the past, most recently in the 1980s.”

Recreating the style’s look

Do you want to recreate the Roaring ’20s look in 2020? It’s actually quite simple when you follow the indications. Try mixing different items with the white walls, wooden floors, and gold accents combination that has become so popular as of late. The geometric patterns that are very fashionable nowadays and the investment in marble and burl wood can be used to recreate the art-deco look. Choose glamorous decorations for your home and you will get the right vibe.

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